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Wouter Verhelst
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 3:30pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

Michael Burnham is the center of the universe. She stepped through the correct window of the sky scraper that was lying on its side and ate the cake, remember?

Oh no, hang on, that's from that story that actually tried to be ridiculous, rather than this story which tries not to but just is.

My mistake.
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Wouter Verhelst
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 5:39pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 1

What the bloody hell type of deus ex machina crap was this?

I've so had it with you, discovery.
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Wouter Verhelst
Thu, Nov 26, 2020, 1:36am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

I'm starting to more and more love the admiral.

He's a no-nonsense kind of guy trying to live up to the expectation of what Starfleet is supposed to be, in a universe that couldn't care less, with less resources than he'd like, and far less even than he needs. Even so, he tries to make the best of a bad situation.

This makes him rather rough around the edges, but with surprisingly good judgement. He makes the hard decisions when he needs to, as the kind of 'harsh but fair' persona that a Starfleet in this era would need.

It would be terrible if he turned out to be the bad guy. Please don't let that be the case...
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Wouter Verhelst
Sun, Nov 8, 2020, 11:37am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

I loved them using a Trill symbiont. For a series that talks about things that happened a long long long time ago, having a Trill symbiont is ideal.

I like that the not-michael characters are getting a decent amount of screen time. Michael not being overfocused and wanting to have everything is something this series dearly needed. I had grown tired of her tantrums, and those seem gone now, which is a good thing.

I don't think doing a prequel series is ever a good idea; ENT showed that quite clearly. Discovery repeating that mistake was a mistake to begin with. Not to mention the continuity issues they willingly introduced by creating this "spore drive"... moving all the action to 900 years in the future neatly fixes both those issues.

Between that and the improvements they did to the Burnham character, as well as the depth they added to all the other characters. I like how Georgiou is building up to become a problem, very much like Seven was in season four of VOY; her insubordination reminds me of Seven's behavior in "Message in a Bottle", and her arc added so much to the later seasons of VOY, even if they ended up overusing her in the end.

I'm actually looking forward to the rest of the season now, even if I was quite unhappy with where the show was going at the end of the last.

It wouldn't be the first Star Trek show that didn't really go on to become really nice until its third season if it did manage to pull that off...
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Wouter Verhelst
Mon, Apr 20, 2020, 4:53pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes

So, Mercer gets captured by the Union's biggest enemies -- the Krill -- and when the Krill get attacked by another ship, the right reaction is to... Team up with someone who clearly is after him and wants him dead, rather than the enemies of his enemies?

Whatever happened to that old adage, 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'? Are the writers for real here?

Anyway, after forcing a suspension of disbelief on myself for that one, I think the episode kindof works, provided this is not the end of the Krill arc, but that it is further setup for a future episode where the union and the Krill (or, at the very least, *this* Krill) build more of an understanding.

I could have done without Malloy failing the Kobayashi Maru though. Ah well.
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Wouter Verhelst
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 3:17pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus


Finally we get to meet her, only to see her killed off. Really?

Probably not. This show has a habit of bringing people back from the dead: first Georgiou, then Culber.

I suspect that Airiam is really the Red Angel. You'll see, that's going to be the big reveal or something.

If that prediction turns out to be correct, I'm not sure whether I'm going to like the writers, or hate them for being too obvious.

Still, liking the second season so far. One can only hope they don't let everything fall apart at the end of the season again...
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Wouter Verhelst
Fri, Feb 16, 2018, 12:10pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I kindof liked the Enterprise showing up, if only because that allowed the show to connect with an old tradition: to have a character from an older show show up in the pilot of the next. McCoy in TNG, Picard in DS9, Quark in VOY, and they managed to sneak in Zefram Cochrane in ENT. I was a bit disappointed that they hadn't done it for DIS, but here we go.

Of course, I'm sure they will now fuck up continuity even more in season 2. I'm not sure I want to watch that. Ah well, we'll see.
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Wouter Verhelst
Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 3:01am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

I think Mudd came off pretty well, but not through the intent of the crew.

Remember, they said there was a bounty on his head. They also knew he took off with the dowry. When Stella and her dad arrived, and we saw the look on Mudd's face, we had every reason to believe a tirade by the dad and an imprisonment or something, and I think that's what everyone in that room -- crew as well as Mudd -- expected. The setup is that Mudd is being delivered into his worst enemies.

Instead, the first word said when Stella and her father materialize is a joyous 'Harcourt!' It is in that moment that he gets off lucky; by then it is too late for the crew to change tactics.

I think it's quite brilliant, although the execution could have been slightly better (I don't think 'Stella' played her part all that well)
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Wouter Verhelst
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 7:22pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

So, the physics/biology thing.

Is it bull? Perhaps. Thing is though, they're a research vessel, doing basic research. Some basic research will be groundbreaking, but most (in the real world) is cuckeloo. The only way to find out which is which, though, is to experiment.

They seem to have some magic instant transport capability that happens as Lorca puts Burnham into that lab place, but is it actually real? While she's 'standing' on the other planets, she can still hear Lorca speak. How much of this is real, and how much of it is not? We don't know yet, because all we've seen so far is nothing more than setup. A *lot* of setup.

The pilot double episode gives us some background in some of the characters, and shows that Burnham used to be very very good. Could they have done that with just flashbacks? Perhaps, but then her being so down right now and Lorca bribe interested wouldn't make much sense.

I think that anyone who looks at this show expecting another TNG, TOS, or DS9 will be sorely disappointed. Discovery is different from all those shows, mostly because the concept is different. It also is much less an episodic series, and much more of an arc show. But arcs require preparation and exposition, CV and that's where we're now.

I like what I've seen so far, and a lot of things don't make sense yet, and/or seem to conflict with established canon. I'm pretty sure this won't last forever though...
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Wouter Verhelst
Wed, Sep 27, 2017, 12:37pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Jammer, I am so glad you mentioned the Klingons. They look awful. I don't mind the different looks of all the houses (there's a pretty good explanation there by the writers in the aftershow) but the shape and look of their skin? It's like they're a completely different species

Other than that, love the look of the new show. 'Wow' is pretty damn right. The pilot is engaging and exciting, and I look forward to next week!
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Wouter Verhelst
Thu, Sep 1, 2016, 3:58am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek Beyond

This is the first movie in the reboot series that I feel I can recommend to anyone.

The first one just set up the reboot. It had a few backreferences, mostly for the benefit of old fans, and that felt just right. It didn't have a lot of meat, but enough of it that sitting out the film wasn't a chore.

STID was a mess. The less said about that, the better. If I wanted to see Wrath of Khan, I'll just pop in a DVD, thankyouverymuch.

I was in serious doubt about watching the third movie of this series -- but then I heard that JJ Abrams didn't direct. And that got me sold. After all, I haven't seen much of Abrams' work, but what I've seen all boils down to the same:

"Let's take a successful storyverse, and redo it, and add a lot of backreferences, wink wink".

Star Trek 2009 - check
Star Trek Into Darkness - check
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - check (that's just a simple remake of "A New Hope" - except the farmboy is now a farmgirl. Whatever).

There's a pattern here.

I'm sure it's loads of fun to make a movie in "homage" to whatever you loved growing up, and to be nostalgic about that, but you know what JJ? When I go to watch a new movie, I *don't* want to be nostalgic about old ones. If I want to do that, I'll just watch the damn old movie instead, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, I enjoyed Beyond way more than what I had been expecting. The visuals around Yorktown were stunning; I'm usually wary of Hollywood overdoing it on the CGI, but here it actually *works*. The plot got a little slow after the gratuitous destruction of Enterprise (which I could have done without, but ah well), and there were a few other minor issues, but overall I think the movie works, and that it managed to keep me entertained.

With that in mind, I don't agree with Jammer rating this less than STID. Ah well, we all have our opinion, I suppose.
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Wouter Verhelst
Fri, Dec 11, 2015, 1:36am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

I'd favor something I can actually watch. CBS All access sounds like something very much U.S.-specific; watching that over here in Belgium might be complicated...
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Wouter Verhelst
Tue, Dec 1, 2015, 2:36pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Dead Stop

The computer voice made me think of that other Roxann Dawson computer voice in "Dreadnought", even before I realized that it was her. It gave a certain creepy character to it, which only enriches the whole experience of this episode. Two AIs who turn to killing innocent living beings. Can't be a coincidence.

Dawson would be great as a villain in some show or movie.
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Wouter Verhelst
Thu, Jun 4, 2015, 6:44pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S1: Shuttlepod One

Just finished watching this for the first time ever. What a godawful episode.

Character building? Maybe if you count 'trite and cliché' as an interesting character trait.

The acting was pretty horrible; the writing went for the obvious far too often ('We have two guys locked up together. Let's make them fight!'); and overall, there wasn't really anything interesting being said to or about our characters.

All in all, I'd give it half a star, since I did manage to finish it, even though it's late and I'm pretty tired. Okay, make that a whole star. The special effects were okay.

No, that's not why I wanted to watch this...
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Wouter Verhelst
Sat, Dec 13, 2014, 10:09am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S6: Collective

"Four of the five drones (as well as a Borg infant that is beamed aboard the ship)"

I just rewatched this episode for the first time in a long time, and realized that this infant is never heard from again. The doctor saved its life, so it's still on the ship, but it is never so much as mentioned in any future episode. Presumably, when Mezoti, Azan and Rebi leave the ship some time later, the infant leaves as well, but it would've been nice to see some follow-up on that part of this story. Ah well...
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Wouter Verhelst
Tue, Jul 16, 2013, 3:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I enjoyed Into Darkness. Sortof. About as much as I enjoyed "The Expendables", which I went to see on a whim a few years back.

I didn't like Into Darkness, though. There were far too many roll-my-eyes moments for that. Things that were supposed to be subtle pointers to previous episodes or films of the Star Trek universe, but were so in your face it wasn't even funny.

When the 2009 film came out, I was looking forward to a fresh take on the whole Star Trek universe. A reboot was exactly what Star Trek needed; there was far too many baggage, far too much history, to continue making fresh stories. This is a different starfleet; it would make sense that they would interpret their rules somewhat differently.

A reboot could revisit some ethical questions from the past and reinterpret them differently, considering current (as opposed to 1960s or 1980s) ethics, morals, and events. That would've been interesting.

What do we get instead? Essentially, a remake of "Wrath of Khan". I mean, sure, WoK was a good movie, though it's been far too long since I last saw it. But any remake is going to be crap in comparison to the original.

I don't think I'll be going to a movie theater to see the next installment -- if there is going to be one, that is.
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Wouter Verhelst
Wed, Jun 19, 2013, 3:13am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Rise


I agree that the episode has many problems. But the interpersonal conflict between Neelix and Tuvok works, in my opinion.

Is Neelix an annoying character? I can see why people think so, even though I don't agree with that sentiment. Even so, annoying people do exist in real life, too. The fact that Neelix is annoying in and of itself doesn't make him unrealistic as a character. I don't think that people who find him annoying are necessarily "clueless".

That Tuvok is condescending towards everyone in the carriage is completely irrelevant. Personally, I can tolerate condescending people for a while, but if I have to live with them for a long time, eventually my patience runs out; and if I believe I'm right about something and people are just dismissing me out of hand, the limit of my patience will be reached much earlier.

Both are true in the case of the Neelix/Tuvok interaction here: Tuvok isn't condescending just in this episode, the two have a history, while Tuvok doesn't have that history with other people in the carriage (they're throwaway characters) Additionally, it's Neelix who came up with the idea that perhaps there's something out on the roof, and Tuvok doesn't even entertain the possibility.

Is an emotional outburst, as Neelix had one in this episode, the most productive way to solve the problem? Most likely not. Is it a human, understandable, and believable way? Absolutely.
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Wouter Verhelst
Sat, Mar 2, 2013, 12:06pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: Treachery, Faith, and the Great River

I just *love* the Nog/O'Brien story here. We already know Nog isn't afraid to use his Ferengi talents (Saurian Brandy anyone?), but here we see how it works out in detail.

It's not always something we'd want to be involved in, but Nog's heart certainly is in the right place. And indeed, O'Brien's reactions to Nog's exploits are... fun to watch.
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Wouter Verhelst
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 1:44pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Time's Orphan

@Chris yeah, I couldn't believe that either. That line should have been "There will be no one to grow up to become this Molly, and we'd be out of a plot". It's such a cop-out.
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Wouter Verhelst
Thu, May 3, 2012, 4:11am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

I never liked this episode. That's to say, if it had been part of another show, one playing in mid-20th century Harlem, I might've liked it. But as it is, I don't.

Is this episode watchable? Yes. Does it ask "interesting" questions? Probably. Does it have anything to do with the entire premise of DS9? Not even remotely.

Yes, in the mid 20th century, being black in the US probably wasn't a very interesting proposition. But in the 24th century of Star Trek, it's a non-issue. It has absolutely no relevance to what's going on around DS9, other than "it's a dream to Sisko". Or was it a "vision from the profets"? If so, then wtf were they trying to tell him? I haven't got a clue.

When I first watched this episode, I remember wondering to myself halfway through when they will finally get to the point. There isn't any. The episode starts off with Sisko being desperate about lost friends, then we get a whole "dream" or "vision" about something not involving anything remotely related to that emotional pain, and then we get a payoff where Sisko is feeling magically cured of his desperation. I don't buy it.

It's interesting to see the regulars playing some other characters, I suppose, but ultimately, this episode adds nothing to the show in the way that some other episodes do. When we look at Season 7's "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang", we also see our characters in semi-historical settings; but that one works much better for me, because it's actually *our characters*, not some throwaway characters that we see once and never after, which just happen to be played by our same regular actors.

Essentially, this episode just doesn't work for me.
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Wouter Verhelst
Wed, Feb 16, 2011, 5:30am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: Rise


I've read many of your reviews, and often find myself agreeing with them, and your score, /after/ reading the review, even if I didn't agree with your score beforehand. But there's one thing I vehemently disagree with, and that's your dislike of Neelix.

I find Neelix very much to be a multi-layered personality. I don't think he's someone who's fully coped with the loss of his parents and his sister yet; his often lightheaded jokes seem to me to be nothing more than a way to camouflage the sadness that is still in his heart. When he dies in "Mortal Coil", it seems to me that he's not so much sad about realizing there's no afterlife, as he is about realizing he won't see them again.

The contrast of Neelix against Tuvok is also something that, I think, works very well. In this particular episode, we see it get to a head. Neelix has been putting up with this dismissive Vulcan who wants nothing to do with him for a very very long time, even though he considers him a friend (and Tuvok knows this). When he believes there's something important on the roof, Tuvok believes he's just being silly, and dismisses him without even considering the possibility that he might be right. That just pushes the built-up tension to the surface, and Neelix and Tuvok get into an argument. Not at the most convenient of times, I'll grant you, but these kinds of arguments often do.

Also, I don't see his stopping the tether carriage as childlike. If the party inside the carriage wants to go and investigate what's up on the roof, that needs to happen when there's actually still air outside, since I don't think there are any space suits in the carriage. Granted, someone could take a shuttle from Voyager and do it that way, but that takes time, and we're in a crunch here. Neelix doesn't actually say it with so many words, but his "we're not moving until someone checks" does make sense in that light.

I'll grant you that the acting and directing wasn't stellar; but I do think that based on Neelix and Tuvok's history, the interpersonal conflict presented here seems very believable in my eyes, and would warrant more than just 1.5 stars.

Oh, and regarding the technical feasibility, you might want to check the wikipedia page on 'Space elevator' :-)
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